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Tim Beardall IM Korea Report
CBD Cycles - 28/07/2011
What makes an Ironman event so good?
The constant pounding in the swim, the thigh burning ride and the gut churning run…. I love it all.
Competing on a volcanic island of JeJu, South Korea, warm clouds of mist settling on the water caused safety concerns for officials in readiness for the swim and with 10 minutes to the cannon start, competitors were relieved to learn the swim was “on”. The two-loop swim took place on Jungmun Beach, a white sand beach nestled at the base of the cliffs below the Lotte and Hyatt Regency hotels.
The mist cleared as the starters gun sounded and a uneventful swim brought competitors back to the bikes. Uneventful still means I was belted from pillar to post jostling for best line along the swim buoys.
Once I had cleared the mainly Asian field of non swimmers I found clear water to make my way after the top pros.
Out of the water and after a 200 meter soft sand beach run, you then had to contend with a 400 meter 15% stagger up the cliff walls to T1.
Onto the magnificent Giant Trinity and the climbing continues taking a steady climb of 6 kms up to the main highway where the bike course was to find it’s way around the island. The one-loop bike course winds its way east from Seogwipo City on excellent roads through coastal villages and cultural areas before tipping up through the foothills of Mt. Gogenu. The course returns west on a new scenic road with panoramic sea and mountain views.
The sun tried to break through and already the humidity was energy
sapping. The hilly bike course, forced me to ride within myself, even though the Trinity wanted to “roar” I knew I had to save myself for the run battle ahead.
I made some great gains on the bike “taking it easy!”(did I mention how good the Giant Trinity is?)
And came into T2 in forth place outright! The two-loop run course is on the rolling roads between Jungmun Beach and the new Seogwipo Convention Center, with the finish line at the spectacular World Cup Stadium
A volcanic island is hilly and these rises constantly forced me to change running rhythm, but this probably helped me so my mind didn’t wander too far from the job at hand. The race was “on” and I managed to cling to my position for the entire run on the scorching hot bitumen. I crossed the line forth overall and to be the first age grouper. (winner 25-29 in 9.14.42) I also had the fastest bike ride for the day, bar the winner. When racing in different countries, flexibility is essential and being willing to adapt to conditions can pay off. Unfortunately Power Bar, my preferred nutrition due to be on the course never made it due to a “customs” misunderstanding. We ended up having what can loosely be described as “muesli bar” for our nutrition. A super big thanks to CBD Cycles Anthony, Dave and crew for their constant support, guidance and for tuning my Giant Trinity to absolute perfection.
Keep a look out for an equally great Hawaii race report.
Tim Beardall
A great race in a beautiful hilly place.